By Chinonso Alozie
A family of seven was rescued alongside others when a two-storey building under construction collapsed, yesterday, at Area 5 Extension in Umuguma, Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.
It was gathered that the victims, who sustained injuries, were rescued and taken to the hospital by passers-by and neighbours, who heard the sound of the collapsed building.It was also gathered that some of the victims were bricklayers working on the site.
At press time, the removal of the debris was yet to be concluded but the Owerri Capital Development Authority, OCDA, led by the Chairman, Francis Chukwu, confirmed it was nine victims that were rescued and some of them taken to the hospital.
However, the head of a family of seven residing in the uncompleted building, who gave his name as Eke Martins, said he was able to escape but that one of his children was injured during the rescue operation.
Matins, said: “I have seven children with others at the time when this incident happened. So, when the building collapsed, five of my children were on the first floor and the second child was on the down floor.“What we heard was a heavy sound and the building collapsed. I thank God nobody died but one of my children was injured and was taken to the hospital where they are demanding N250,000. I am happy that nobody died.”
The OCDA Chairman, Francis Chukwu, while sealing the collapsed building also warned developers against using substandard materials. He said: “The owner and engineer handling the building, both of whom were not at the site at the time of the inspection, have been asked to report to the agency with immediate effect, at the same time we are warning developers against the use of substandard materials in building houses.
We also inspected other buildings around the area and directed the owners to report to the agency for re-certification because the vibration of the collapsed building can pose some effects on the existing buildings.”